NICK GEORGE scored a game-high 35 points and led Plymouth University Raiders to a relatively comfortable 90-81 BBL Trophy first round win over Durham Wildcats at a busy Pavilions on Saturday night.
Veteran forward George spectacularly buried three threes on the spin early in the third quarter to a fuel a decisive, 18-1 Raiders run, which built a 59-48 gap and gave them the lead for good.
Raiders’ lead peaked at 15 points, 81-66 early in the fourth and coach Jay Marriott’s underfire team were never really threatened the rest of the way by Wildcats, who never got within fewer than nine points down the stretch.
George finished on offence 13/18 from the floor overall and a flawless 5/5 from the three-point arc.
His effort ensures Raiders are in Monday’s draw for the quarter-finals of the competition they won back in 2007, which remains their sole top-flight title in their history.
George said: “It’s been a crazy week and there’s been a lot of negativity around the club’s transactions, so I was motivated by that.
“I wanted to have a big game and win most importantly. The run in the third ignited the team.
“We didn’t just have one guy out there making shots. We had energy and passion, and everybody got into it. After that, the game was over for me.”
Wildcats had led by as many as 10 points, 15-5 in the middle of the first quarter before Raiders rallied with a 10-2 tear, which tied it back up at 19-19 at the end of the opening frame.
Wildcats led by six, 47-41 when Raiders and George got red hot in the third.